Friday, April 21, 2017

MassDOT purchases 20 remote-control ballast cars

Written by 
MassDOT Secretary Pollack views the remote control for the ballast car. MassDOT Secretary Pollack views the remote control for the ballast car. MassDOT

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) received delivery of 20 new remote-control steel ballast cars in mid April.

The MassDOT Rail & Transit Division purchased the cars and noted the innovative nature of the remote-control gates that MassDOT says will make the process of dumping ballast faster, more efficient and safer.

"MassDOT is pleased to now have its own fleet of ballast cars which will save money and time when repairing tracks," said MassDOT Rail & Transit Division Administrator Astrid Glynn. "With this investment, MassDOT is continuing to take steps to improve its rail infrastructure and ensure that our customers can count on reliable service and our freight partners can use our system for their transportation needs."

MassDOT rented ballast cars in the past, but decided to purchase the new fleet in order to save time and money. MassDOT says it spent approximately $109,000 leasing ballast cars in Fiscal Year 2017 and purchased the new cars for $3.2 million. MassDOT projects saving about $2.25 million based on a 50-year operating life of the cars. MassDOT also noted additional savings in transportation costs it anticipates, as it will store the cars in its own facilities.

MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack visited the rail yard where the cars are being stored on April 19 to see how they operate. MassDOT says the cars will be put into operation after workers complete an operation training program.

Get the latest rail news

The inside scoop from RT&S, IRJ and Railway Age on and off the track. Join our email list.